Representational image | Photo: Flickr
Representational image | Photo: Flickr
Text Size:

Washington: The U.S. government issued an alert Monday that a type of malware seen frequently by security researchers in the last decade is tied to the Chinese government, the latest in a series of American warnings about China’s cyber capabilities this summer.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Defense “identified a malware variant used by Chinese government cyber-actors, which is known as Taidoor,” according to the alert. The purpose of the alert, which contained no information about the prevalence of the malware or who has been targeted, is to “enable network defense and reduce exposure to Chinese government malicious cyber-activity.”

While this type of malware has been used since 2008, the Chinese government continues to leverage it in ongoing espionage to gain intelligence, according to a U.S. Cyber Command official, who requested anonymity as is the agency’s policy.

The cybersecurity firms FireEye Inc. and CrowdStrike have seen Taidoor malware used by multiple China-based groups targeting the U.S. and Asia but have observed a recent decline in its use.

In the past, the malware has hit sectors including law, nuclear power, airlines, engineering, defense industrial base, technology, government and aerospace, according to the cybersecurity firms. It’s commonly sent in spearphishing attacks and used to gain access to systems, said Ben Read, a senior manager of analysis at FireEye.

The government’s decision to publicly connect Taidoor to China comes as President Donald Trump plans to order China’s ByteDance Ltd. to divest its ownership of the music-video app TikTok amid a U.S. investigation of potential national security risks. In May, the U.S. warned organizations researching coronavirus of “likely targeting and attempted network compromise” by China.-Bloomberg

Also read: American journalists in Hong Kong could be Beijing’s next target


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here